Side effects of antidepressants on teeth and gums

Side effects of antidepressants and sedatives on teeth and gums

by Dr. Nadia Abazarnia

The side effects of psychotropic drugs may cause dental problems.

You may be prescribed psychotropic drugs either for a mental illness or to manage severe anxiety associated with dental procedures. When these drugs are used they can cause problems such as dry mouth, bruxism, surgical bleeding, hyper salivation which need preventive dental care.

Dry mouth or Xerostomia

Most antidepressants can cause dry mouth. Dental management of a patient with dry mouth requires:

  • Increased dental recalls for oral hygiene instructions, fluoride application and early intervention.
  • Use of artificial saliva products.
  • Drinking water or any type of sugarless drink throughout the day.
  • Cutting down on caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco because they contribute to a dry mouth.
  • Sugarless candy or gum can promote saliva production.
  • Salty and spicy foods can cause pain to an already dry mouth.
  • Use a humidifier at night.

Grinding of the teeth or Bruxism

It is occasionally seen with antipsychotics, antidepressants. Bruxism involves grinding of the teeth, and leads to excessive dental attrition. The complications can be reduced by the use of an occlusal splint.

Surgical bleeding

Antidepressants and some anticonvulsant drugs, can impairs platelet aggregation which can potentiate surgical bleeding and this may occur in dental patients.

Drug-induced excess salivation                                                                                      Excess saliva may compromise dental materials during dental treatment and create a difficult working environment for the dentist and pose a risk of aspiration. Anticholinergic drugs can be used for patients suffering hyper salivation, before dental work, in addition to standard measures for maintaining a dry field.

Enlarging Gums                                                                                      Also known as Gingival Overgrowth, the Enlarging Gums are caused by the Immunosuppressant Drugs, Calcium Channel Blockers, and Anti-seizure Medications etc.

Preventing side effects of medications

It is not advisable to stop the medications for the fear of the side effects affecting the oral health adversely. What is required is that you let your dentist know that you are taking these medications. Also, you should inform your doctor or physician if you are experiencing any side effects.

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Dental Insurance vs. Discounted Dental Plans

Dental Insurance And Discount Plans

Dental Insurance And Discount Plans

Oral health and maintenance of the same is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Prevention and correction of dental problems on time is essential to stem the damage to one of the most important organs of the human body. Many people do not realize the importance of maintaining their oral health. Most Americans who do are without effective dental coverage. This is mainly due to cutting costs by major businesses effecting employee dental benefits. People who are used to regular maintenance of dental health are looking at options where they can get dental benefits. One main question on their minds today is “How benefits differ between Dental Insurance and Discount Dental Plans?

 

Dental insurance is not available for individuals and families. Is traditionally a coverage offered by employers to their employees who pay monthly premiums for fixed coverage. This kind of coverage has drawbacks – ceiling on spending, deductible or non-reimbursable issues, and waiting periods for certain kind of dental procedures, limitations and care or disease exclusions. This kind of coverage also involves submission of claims. Dental Insurance traditionally covers preventive dental services like cleaning and routine examinations at 100% after deductibles are adjusted (they may vary from $20-$50 annually per individual). However, the choice of the dentist is up to the individual and premium is about $30 a month for individuals and $100 a month for families.

 

Discount dental plans on the other hand offer dental benefits to everyone and are designed to give access to the dentist networks at discounted rates. They are also known as reduced fee dental plans or affordable dental plans. They are easy to join and does not involve any paperwork. Discount dental plans are generally membership programs that provide coverage on an annual basis with monthly membership fee. Consumers get secured discounts on dental services like exams, routine cleanings, extractions, root canals, fillings, dentures, and braces. They save the consumer 10-60% percent off standard fee of visiting a participating network provider or dentist.

 

The traditional dental insurance and discounted dental plans can also be clubbed together in certain situations to maximize savings.

Natural Toothache Remedies

Dental Assistants

Toothache Remedies

 

Not many people are aware of the fact that several herbs can be used in the relief of toothache pain. Natural herbs such as cloves, calendula, tarragon, and yarrow can be used to help relieve th pain until you can get to the dentist. For many years, different cultures have counted on herbs to help get the pain of a toothache control and get temporary relief.

 

Native Americans for example, used the inner bark found in the butternut tree to their gums to get relief from toothaches. The butternut tree is found in North America, and is also the cousin of the black walnut tree. Butternut trees are found along rivers in well drained soil, rich woods, and even in back yards. Once the tree matures, it can reach heights of up to 60 feet, with the bark being light grey in color, and the leaves and the fruit resembling the black walnut tree. The bark of the tree can be applied to the gums, helping to alleviate toothache pain.

 

Yarrow on the other hand, can be found in Asia, Europe, and North America. It normally grows wild in meadows, fields, and in open wood lands. The root of yarrow, is what contains the anaesthetic effect. If you apply the fresh root of yarrow to your tooth or gums, it will help to stop the pain – until you can get an appointment with the dentist and get it taken care of.

 

The herb known as clove is an evergreen tree, native to tropical areas. These days however, it can be found throughout the world. As many already know, the dried flower bud of clove is what contains the medicine. The oil from clove, when used on a toothache, will help to stop the pain almost immediately. If you compare cloves to other natural toothache remedies, you’ll find clove to be the best.

 

For many years, natural herbs have been used to stop toothache pain. Hundreds of years ago, herbs were the only way to stop the pain. Dentists were just starting to come around, although they didn’t have near the equipment and sophistication that they have these days. Even though teeth were pulled during these times, it normally happened with alcohol to numb the pain then pliers to remove the tooth.

 

Throughout the course of time, herbs have proven to be very effective with stopping toothache pain. If you are interested in herbs or have any questions about them, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your dentist his opinion. Dentists know herbs, and should be able to recommend natural remedies to you if you request them. The next time you experience the pain of a toothache – you should always remember that herbs are a great way to relieve the pain.

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